I always thought that the phrase “monetize your passion” was a marketing term to encourage the prostituting of something we love. To a writer like me, monetizing my passion just seemed like a sin.
Not until Maven Secrets did I think that this was a possibility rather than a sin.
Long wanting to emancipate myself from the corporate rat race, I was looking for the Holy Grail of every freelance journalist. I wanted to do what I loved and live comfortably off its earnings. Unfortunately, I had grown to accept the brutal awful truth that writing was a calling and not really a lucrative profession.
But, my life has been a series of serendipitous events. And one of them was landing a full scholarship to the Maven Secrets class on Professional Blogging and Internet Marketing of Anton Diaz at the Asian Institute of Management. The scholarship was awarded to me by When In Manila when I submitted a blog post about what I love about the Philippines and I chose to talk about Jeepney drivers.
I had often visited Anton’s blog (who hasn’t?) and thought that his was a success story that was just that – a success story.
I have been writing a blog for the 5 years and have heard phenomenal stories about how people have made money out of it and how they have quit their day job. And I always thought it was a dream that wouldn’t happen to me.
But Maven Secrets was just the thing to answer all my questions and even teach me the techie part.
The class was a mix of theory, application and inspirational talks of those who had made it. This was like no other class that I had ever been to. And the classmates…
There was the changemaker who wanted to make the world a better place, the doctor with deep compassion for her cancer patients, the little boy who loved to cook and the one woman who was so passionate about Calamba that we all left the class looking at it differently and wanting to pay a visit ourselves. And me, the sexual health advocate who wanted to educate people, especially women about informed choices and their right to celebrate their sexuality and protect their bodies.
We all went in there with a dream and every Tuesday or Thursday night for two and a half months, we met, listened, questioned and discussed with one another. We watched and listened to greats like Oprah saying: “Harness the power of your passions”; Manny saying that there is no other replacement for hard work for those who are always looking for an easy way out or to do things.
And there was Anton teaching us the importance of building a brand on-line; giving us the technical details of how to do this, and patiently teaching us how to navigate our way around cyberspace.
The class has since ended, but a group of us still meet every couple of weeks. Emboldened by awakened passions, and a need to keep up the momentum of the class, we update each other on the progress of our own little dream projects and become each other’s support group, keeping up each other’s spirits as we pursue our dreams and yes, monetize our passions.